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Litter impacts on beach/dune systems along the Atlantico Department, the Caribbean Coastline of Colombia

Rangel-Buitrago, Nelson, Castro-Barros, Julian Dario, Adriana Gracia, C., Villadiego, Jose Dario Villamil, Williams, Allan T.
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.137 pp. 35-44
coasts, water pollution, Caribbean, Colombia
Eight beach/dune systems located along the Atlantico Department, Caribbean coast of Colombia were surveyed to determine litter influences over its scenic quality. Application of the Coastal Scenic Evaluation System (CSES) categorized these systems into two of the five available classes. Five of the investigated beach/dune systems belong to Class IV, while three systems correspond to V. Classes I, II and III were not found. Along these beach/dune systems, a total amount of 1908 litter items were collected with average abundances of 4.2 items/m2. Currently, 82% of surveyed sites are under an unacceptable condition of cleanness. User's habits as well as bad litter management practices are directly responsible for the decline of scenic quality of the Atlantico Department beach/dune systems. Litter management must be centered on strategies to eliminate or minimize litter sources. Specific remedial actions need to be defined and developed.